Re: non story
"A lot of people on El reg work in IT. This story of extra costs rings true."
No it doesn't.
"No-one ever wanted a female mario or female sonic."
No one ever played a mario or sonic game that was a proper RPG, with customisable characters.
In games of this type however, it's the norm. Not just two genders, but multiple body types/species/heads/voices/outfits..
"The guy sounds reasonable, they wanted a female character but realised the costs.... simple.!"
Female meshes abound. Add an extra mesh option with the same animation rigs, and job done. Near zero costs. In fact, the modelling for a single building probably would cost more.
Other RPGs allow players to play which ever gender they like, AND which ever species they like, with individual animation styles for each species. Elves don't move like Dwarves, and mages don't lumber like big human barbarians.
This is not a new and unusual thing. This is the default for RPGs. Even the free ones..
So please.. cut the crap. A female option is not actually expensive.
Hire some out of work actor to do the voice acting, and job done. Probably for less money than they pay forum stuffers.
Something else is the excuse, but it ain't costs or animation complexity.
Puritanical policy decision?
Worries about ratings being tightened up to avoid impossibly over developed female stereotypes?
Insecure male management?
But cost and complexity.. Please.. The other one's got bells on.